You’re From Where? – #1LinerWeds

Tomorrow is Opening Day! Go ahead, google that. You don’t need to add ‘MLB’ or ‘Baseball’ – ‘Opening Day’ works fine. America’s pastime. We may get more spun-up over football, and they might still be playing basketball and hockey, but Baseball starts tomorrow. For a few lucky fans, it will continue into October – probably not for me. I grew up in Pittsburgh and I remain a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates even as their owner seems determined to drag them into the basement of the National League’s Central Division.

You’re probably wondering where the one-liner is. It’s coming, but (surprise surprise) there’s a story:

Here’s another surprise, the story takes place in a bar!

I was attending a training class in Clearwater, Florida. I had asked the instructor if there was a place nearby where I could eat at the bar and watch the remaining 3 ½ innings of the World Series game between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay – this is the only time a World Series game had been suspended due to rain. I was directed to a little bar: “down this road, about half a mile, next to Hooters,” that some locals say was the original Hooters. It was a small restaurant; the bartender and waitresses were fully clothed, and the food was very good.

I mentioned to the bartender that I was surprised there weren’t more Tampa Bay fans in the place. He pointed out that since the area is host to so many snow birds, by late October, they have fans for every team in both leagues.

He asked me who I was rooting for, I said that I didn’t care, because I was a Pirates fan. He asked me if I was from Pittsburgh. I told him was born there, but that I live in Connecticut. A guy sitting on the side of the U-shaped bar said: “I don’t believe that. You don’t look like you were born in Pittsburgh.”

I explained that I lived there for 23 years, but that I hadn’t lived there for a long time. He wasn’t convinced. He said he would test me and that if I passed the test, he’d buy me a beer but that if I failed, I would have to buy him a beer. I agreed.

If you’re really from Pittsburgh, then you should be able to tell me what ‘Jumbo’ is.”

I quickly replied:

That’s what we call Ring Baloney (Ring Bologna), and the best way to serve it is on in a sandwich after it’s been sliced lengthwise and fried with onions. If you have some fries, put them on the sandwich for a real treat.”

He bought me the beer!

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, I’d encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

In today’s gallery are some baseball photos that may have been used before. Also, I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t include John Fogarty’s Centerfield. Also, you wouldn’t feel right if I left out Maddie.


  1. Yaya, Dan. I’m so happy for you that baseball season has begun. It really is my favorite too although I am not faithful about watching. I am hoping to catch at least one game at the new Braves stadium this season. Maddie is such a superstar. Her long red hair flies away from her face like a model in a magazine. Good to see you and Faith! I’m glad you won that bet and got that beer!


    • You have to go to a game, Cheryl! There’s something special about going to a baseball game. We won’t have a winning season, but, if we can, we’ll drive down for a game.

      Maddie loves the breeze. She sits and sniffs, and sniffs, and sniffs.


    • I now have newfound respect for SC. I’m not sure how good those sandwiches are for you, but once in a while, you know, moderation, it should be OK. I hope the Pirates surprise me, but I’ll support them regardless. We lived through 20 losing seasons in a row, I think we can take a couple “rebuilding” years.


  2. Baloney … yikes. That was a staple from my childhood and I don’t think I’ve had it since I was maybe 12. I’ve never had a Jumbo though. When you put fries on top of it, my heartburn auto kicked in.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A Jumbo, huh? Learn something new every day. My experience with bologna was the Oscar Mayer kind as a kid. We’d make fried (in butter) bologna sandwiches on Wonder White bread. So healthy! I only wish we could have eaten them with fries…you know, to get a serving of vegetables in there.

    I’m not a baseball fan, but I always cheer for the home team to do well. I hope your team comes out of the basement this year. Do you think there’s ever a chance that the Brewers and Pirates would meet in the World Series? Or should we just keep hoping for the Super Bowl thing?

    The photo of Faith and Maddie is so sweet. I can see the red head adores your daughter.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Brewers and the Pirates are both in the NL Central. They play 19 regular season games, and in recent years, the Brewers have had the upper hand. We could meet in the post-season, but not the World Series. Let’s hang on to the Super Bowl rematch wish.

      Maddie really loves Faith. There’s nothing better for Maddie than a day when Faith visits.

      I can see the image of that fried baloney sandwich. Maybe not the healthiest thing you ever ate, but you survived – and without fries!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I remember my dad taking us boys to the local tavern for dinner, on occasion. He didn’t drink, but he liked bar food. We would go to different places for different specials. I liked the sandwiches, but it’s probably a good thing I don’t eat them very often.

      Opening day, all at once, is a good thing. I am looking forward to it. I used to hate the years when the Pirates didn’t have a game on the first day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey, a free beer… enough to make it a good day. And lovely portraits of Maddie. I heard the “crack” of the bat hitting the ball when I started reading — and I’m not even a sports fan. Have a wonderful Wednesday, Dan. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Teagan – I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I was a little bit taken aback by this guy, but a free beer and the follow-up conversation made up for it. Maddie doesn’t really fit in with baseball, but I don’t want to risk leaving her out – I learned my lesson a few weeks ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This post was great, Dan. My dad was big on Taylor Ham sandwiches, which my mom would fry up for him. “You don’t look like you were born in Pittsburgh.”–well, that’s a new one. When I moved from NJ to FL, people knew I didn’t sound like a southerner, but I don’t know how I looked……that’s a funny one. Miss Maddie–she is such a pretty girl. Now let’s play some baseball says this diehard Mets/Yankees fan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lois – I wasn’t sure how a person from Pittsburgh was supposed to look, but don’t mess with my heritage. I didn’t suffer through the pollution for nothing. To this day, a ham sandwich is something I can make a meal around. If it’s fried, even better (although I try to eat better with each passing year).

      The Yankees are my go-to team in the AL. I can’t be a Mets fan, but I do like when they play the Pirates because it’s the only time I get to see my team on TV up here in New England.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey I remember fried bologna sandwiches! My Mom actually made them and served them with ketchup and I’m not from Pittsburg! How about that? I say YAY for baseball season even though I really don’t keep up with it … my excuse? I’m very busy with GARDENS. And by the time evening comes around I’m heading for bed. Great “cute” story and of course enjoyed once again your gallery. Hope you are having a good day, Dan!! Me? I’m getting my new toys today …. TWO new lenses! HAPPY DANCE!! 😁🎉😁

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not a sports fan in general, but I respect that others are. I hope your team does way better than you expect them too. And when a sport can bring a dad and his daughter together for a day of fun, then that’s a good thing.

    Love Bologna, but never had it fried. I pretty much stay away from all cold cuts now…. but not chocolate!!!

    Great shot of Maddie and Faith. They always look like they’re having a love fest. The photo where Madde’s gorgeous red hair is blowing…..she should be sitting in a convertible…with sunglasses on!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. Maddie loves Faith and she gets so happy when Faith comes to visit. We should get her some sunglasses ;)

      I’m not a big baseball fan, but going to a game is always a good day/night outI I hope to get to Pittsburgh for a game and I will probably take in a couple of Yard Goats games here in Hartford.

      I have to admit, my wife periodically buys “Chipped Ham” from a place in Pittsburgh that can ship it here (packed in dry ice). I just finished a sandwich, and I had help from the red head while I was making my lunch this morning.


  8. Opening Day = One more signpost passed on the way to the NFL draft and football season. I am intrigued by this Jumbo thing. What kind of bologna exactly? I’m assuming that’s a decent quality bologna. I’ll sometimes buy some German or Lebanese bologna at the deli counter. I’m thinking the combo of my love of a good po-boy and this Jumbo sandwich thing could be heart-stoppingly delicious – especially should cheese be involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jumbo was just your basic Ring Bologna, but Pittsburgh had so many ethnic enclaves that you could always find a meat market in which nothing was pre-packaged. My mom would slice it into 2-3″ lengths, then slice them into strips, then grill them. The sandwich would be on my grandmother’s homemade bread. Cheese is always an option, as is a cold beer.

      I’m still watching hockey, although the Penguins are trying my patience this year. I’d be more excited about football if LeVeon Bell would knock of the drama.


  9. “That’s what we call Ring Baloney (Ring Bologna), and the best way to serve it is on in a sandwich after it’s been sliced lengthwise and fried with onions. If you have some fries, put them on the sandwich for a real treat.”

    [mouth watering]

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is really good. I probably shouldn’t have more than one of those in any given year at this point, but it was a good quick dinner. I didn’t mention it, but in the rare event that there was some leftover, my dad would scramble it eggs the next morning.


    • Well, you wouldn’t have claimed to have been born there :-) Maybe he thought I was born there but my parents moved away when I was 2. A GPS in Pittsburgh is not always a savior. It’s one of the few places mine has gotten me lost (more lost).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks JoAnna – I wasn’t really worried about him having a question I couldn’t answer. That beer was as good as mine.

      Maddie like being in the breeze, she likes sniffing out what’s going on down the street.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yuuuummmmo! Hubs and I love a good fried bologna sammy! I’d never really heard of “Ring” bologna, and I’m not quite sure I understand “sliced lengthwise” – even after I followed your link to look at the pictures! Oh well, it’s the taste that counts. Goooo Cubbies! ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lynn. It’s bologna that’s made like a sausage of kielbasa (horse collar big link). It’s an inch or more around, so my mom would cut it into 2-3″ long chunks and the slice them in half and fry up the pieces. The sliced side would get a little crispy.

      I won’t hold your apparent love of the Cubs , against you, but I won’t be repeating that last bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I just asked He-Man was Jumbo is, and said it’s like Bologna.”That’s what they call it back home. It’s weird now that you mention it I can hear my Mom sayin “give me a half pound of Jumbo.” :)

    PNC Park looks very much like AT&T Park with the open back to the city view. AT&T Park has an open side with a view of the bay. Same designer/contractor build them? Yes, I just looks the same architect for both stadiums. :)

    It’s a beautiful design.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I grew up in a sports-watching household but I find that, more and more, I pretty much ignore both football (especially since our hometown team has moved up north) and baseball (we haven’t had a team worth watching for a very long time). I find that my lack of interest has freed up a ton of time. Now, about that Jumbo… ummm… no. I prefer my fries not attached to a sandwich.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I follow the teams I am attached to, but I don’t get to see them very often on TV (since all are in/near Pittsburgh) so it mainly reading recaps on ESPN’s app.

      I’m not sure I’d recommend Jumbo to anyone, but putting a few fries on the sandwich is something I still do.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Am not a fan of Baloney (one of the first sandwich meats in the USA I got to know (but I confused it often, with the other meaning of the word, comparable to hogwash :p ), but I love Dunking doughnuts, or even better, Crispy Creme Ds. Congrats on your extra beer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be honest, I don’t eat much Baloney these days. My wife offers to fry some up for me, for old times sake, but I don’t take her up on that offer, very often. Donuts? That’s another story.


  14. I like the guy in the bar. Why didn’t you ask him how he could tell you were not from Pittsburg? Or how he ever tells anyone else is from there? Anyway, he must have been a good person, a chummy guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He took me by surprise, Peter. I did ask him why he said that, but he just insisted that I didn’t look like I was from Pittsburgh. It was a fun test, a free beer and some good conversation (which is one of the reasons I like eating at the bar in places like that).

      Liked by 1 person

  15. It always is a fascinating sight when major leaguers leave the sweat and sun of Florida and Arizona to navigate the first couple weeks of the season in the northern tier of the country. Some of them are dressed up like their playing at the top of the world…some of the resulting play isn’t so top-notch either…but baseball is indeed a marathon, not a sprint. Bound to have some chilly, raw conditions. Truth be told, I always liked playing in inclement weather. Baseball should be played outside at all times…but it has to be hard to adjust from spring training mode to survival mode for those first few games of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having a baseball game postponed for snow is a little hard to take. It must be very hard for them, after being down in the sun for two months. Pretty soon they’ll be sweating in every park.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. My beloved Orioles had an inspiring walk-off win on Opening Day … and have proceeded to lose every game since. >-/// But still … baseball is back, and I couldn’t be happier!


    • It doesn’t look like it will last, Paul, but the Pirates are off to a surprisingly good start. Good luck to us all. We’ve got six months to enjoy this…maybe seven (for some).


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